Help Erase the Wait with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands
March 16, 2023
It takes a community coming together to create a world where children live free from abuse. In fact, when we look at some of the major protective factors for children to prevent or easily recover from adverse childhood experiences, “connectedness” is at the top of the list. Nationally and locally, the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America offers supportive mentoring to nurture the potential of children, builds healthy social connectedness, and provides additional support for children to thrive.
Our community partner, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod and the Islands (BBBSCI), works with under-resourced families to offer their children transformational, one-to-one professionally supported relationships with caring adult mentors. Children’s Cove and BBBSCI share the vision of a community where children are free of abuse, have a voice that is heard, and where they enjoy healthy, safe, and empowered lives. Our collaborative approach allows Children’s Cove to provide free training for BBBSCI staff and volunteers on early recognition of trauma and how to respond to concerns of abuse. In turn, we provide referrals to BBBSCI for safe and supportive mentors for the children we serve.
BBBSCI wants our youth to achieve their full potential, which contributes to healthier families, better schools, brighter futures, and stronger communities.
However, BBBSCI has an enormous challenge ahead of them. The need for supportive mentors to children who are at-risk and need assistance outpaces the number of volunteers currently available. BBBSCI needs volunteer mentors for children in our community, and some children have waited more than a year for an appropriate match.
‘The need for supportive mentors to children who are at-risk and need assistance outpaces the number of volunteers currently available… and some children seeking support have been waiting more than a year for an appropriate match.’”
Executive Director JR Mell of BBBSCI talks about the way in which they match volunteer mentors to youth. “This isn’t a one size fits all solution. We take so much into consideration when matching ‘Bigs’ with ‘Littles.’ We ensure that each volunteer has a rigorous screening process for safety, we have extensive questionnaires for both prospective ‘Bigs’ and ‘Littles’ waiting for a mentor to identify interests, hobbies, personalities and more. We want to make sure that when we make a match, it is a match that sticks.”
This month, BBBSCI has launched a new “Erase the Wait” campaign to recruit 72 adult volunteer mentors on Cape Cod during the month of March. With 72 youth waiting for a ‘Big,’ they are excited to recruit and raise awareness on the need for more mentors to step up and become ‘Bigs.’ BBBSCI has already held two major events to recruit potential volunteer-mentors, and has another event coming up.
On March 31st at the Hog Island Brewery in Orleans, the agency aims to provide a venue for people to join them, learn about mentorships, answer questions and meet current volunteer mentors. There is no cost to attend the event. The event starts at 4:30pm with light appetizers and a cash bar, with one drink per guest provide by BBBSCI. There will be door prizes and major gifts from Nauset Marine. At 6:00pm a live band will take the stage which should make it a good night for all. Bring your friends and join BBBSCI for a great night on the Lower Cape!
Mell adds, “we hope you’ll join us for a great night at Hog Island Brewery to learn more about the BBBSCI program, meet our Big 3 Leadership Committee and learn more about how you can get involved with our mission.”
If you are interested in volunteering to become a ‘Big,’ or want to learn more, join BBBSCI in Orleans on March 31st by registering on Eventbrite here. You can also find our more information on their Facebook Page or by calling 508-827-8170.